INDIANAPOLIS — COVID-19 cases may be turning the other direction. Since hitting an all time daily high on January 12, new daily cases have not come close to breaking the record again.

”There is reason for some optimism, finally,” said Dr. Graham Carlos, the executive medical director at Eskenazi Health.

Carlos believes the rise in COVID cases may have hit its peak in this surge.

”I feel like we’re past the worst of it and headed down a downslope which is great,” Carlos said.

It’s not just a gut feeling either, the numbers appear to back it up.

Micah Pollak, an associate professor of Economics at IU Northwest, has made a name for himself tracking COVID data during the pandemic.

He says that despite testing challenges and an inability to track positive cases from at home tests, there are still clear signs of the beginning of a decline.

”If cases are dropping and positivity rate is dropping — that is a sign that infection is slowing down and spread is lessening,” Pollak said.

Pollak has been keeping an eye on the counties where the surge started the earliest. Marion County was one of them.

”In Marion County, cases peaked around the 8th of January and they have been falling, and they’re down about 22% now,” Pollak said.

Pollak says other counties should follow suit and we should be just past a peak here in Indiana. It’s a positive step, but he says we still have a long way to go.

”You have to remember that by definition the peak is the worst place to be in a wave so we’re still very close to the peak,” he said.

Hospitals are still hovering around the fullest they have ever been during the pandemic, both Pollak and Carlos expect to see those numbers begin to decline here soon – a welcome sign for exhausted hospital staff.

”It’s encouraging simply because we need a break, it’s been a long winter,” Carlos said.

To insure cases continue a downward trend, Carlos said it’s still important for people to be vigilant.

”Particularly in crowded indoor surroundings, those are situations where I am wearing a mask for sure,” he said.

Carlos also wants to remind people to not put off going to the hospital because you’re concerned about overcrowding in emergency rooms or possibly getting COVID. He said that was an issue in earlier waves and if you need to go to the hospital, you should go.